Countdown to opening


Having launched our Art Happens campaign in February, we’re excited that opening day for Ladies of Quality & Distinction is nearly upon us. But what has been taking place since you helped us raise an incredible £37,000 towards this landmark exhibition?

Our team of researchers have been busy unearthing stories about the women in the show, both the Ladies upstairs and the women downstairs who worked behind the scenes of the Foundling Hospital. These women have gone unrecognised for almost 300 years, so this incredible research will shine a light on these remarkable women at last.

Our curator and collections manager have been working hard to secure loans for paintings of the 21 Ladies. The paintings have come from public and private collections across the country, including from Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Wales, Kent and Oxfordshire.

The installation team have been working hard behind the scenes. In what was a huge undertaking, all of the men have been taken off the walls of the Picture Gallery, with key works rehung elsewhere in the museum. Preparations have also included the repainting of the Gallery. We’re keeping the colour close to our chest, so if you’re eager to see the transformed space, you can visit the exhibition from Friday.

Our graphic designer Joe Ewart has been putting together a beautiful, illustrated guide to the show, featuring essays and biographies of the Ladies. Be sure to collect your complimentary copy when you visit.

The 21 Ladies are now in the building and are gradually being hung on the walls of the Picture Gallery, taking their rightful place on the site of the Founding Hospital they helped create. Over the next couple of days the team will be making the final tweaks to the show, ready to receive visitors from Friday.

If your reward included tickets to the exhibition, we look forward to welcoming you soon. If you’re planning on visiting us, you can purchase tickets on the day, no advance booking is needed. Opening times can be found on our website:

See you soon.

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